Abuja Motor Fair Defies Economic Downturn
Despite the declaration that Nigeria is broke by President Muhammadu Buhari, participants say the just concluded Abuja Motor Fair which held between October 27 and November 4, 2015, recorded huge visitors defying the prevalent economic realities in the country.
Some of the exhibitors who spoke to Inside FCT said they were marveled by the number of visitors who thronged the Eagle Square, venue throughout the nine day fair, to make enquiries and get information on the latest offerings in the automotive industry.
A Senior Sales Manager, Toyota Nigeria Mr. Peter Alake said this year’s fair turned out the very good in terms of visits and prospective auto buyers, stressing his company’s visitors’ logbook recorded commendable entries.
He noted that what pleased him the most was the quality of visitors whom he said are real prospects that could be followed up for fruitful transactions in the future. “I must tell you that we recorded good number of visitors in spite of the declining state of the economy. I did not expect much in the year’s fair.
But, surprisingly, Nigerians are very resilient they keep coming in their numbers which is why we are here in the first place. And I want to tell you that most the people that come are not just passersby but people who are serious about doing business with us.
It has been quite interesting” he said. Another participant, the Managing Directors of Kademju Nigeria Limited, Mr. also corroborated the fact that the event was a success after all, adding that despite occasional rains which came down almost every 4pm, the number of visitors were commendable.
“We come every year and we expected that this year would not attract much people because of the hardship being generally experienced by many.
But incidentally, as you can see this is fifth day running and the tempo kept increasing in terms of number of visitors we record on a daily basis” he said.
While declaring the event open last Thursday , the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had stated that no meaningful economic growth can be achieved in terms of wealth creation, employment generation and poverty reduction in a country without a robust industrial sector which determines development in all nations of the world.
He added that the present administration is committed to addressing all the factors militating against the growth of automotive sub-sector. He said “Our automotive industry must adopt new technologies to stay in business.
The Federal Government will therefore collaborate with the private sector in achieving this objective. “The automotive sector is a key component of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) which is a 5-year action plan developed by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to diversify Nigeria’s economy and revenues through industry and to increase manufacturing contribution to GDP to at least 10% by the year 2017.
Within the NIRP, the automotive sector has been identified as a strategic industry group due to its large domestic market, labour intensive characteristics, strong industtrial linkages, existing installed capacity base and export potential to ECOWAS. “As such government will seek new ways of improving the “Automotive Industry Development Policy” in order to protect the industry” he said.
The Vice President, who was represented at the event by the Acting Permamnent Secretary, Minitry of Trade and Investment, Mohammed Badamasui, noted that the high cost of importing fully built vehicles and used cars into the country is having serious impact on the economy.
He therefore said that this trend would be reversed as quickly as possible, adding that government will continue to use both fiscal and non-fiscal measures to reduce the flooding of our market with used cars and encourage both local and foreign vehicle manufacturers to establish and expand auto-assembly plants in Nigeria.
In addition, the Government will ensure that existing incentives in the auto-sector are implemented and new ones initiated to encourage automobile and spare parts manufacturers.
The Managing Director of BKG Exhibitions Ltd and Chairman Organizing Committee of the annual Abuja Motor Fair, Mr. Ifeanyi chukwu Agwu, despite the choking challenges ‘we have been facing in organizing this annual event we resolved not to take the easy way out which is to quit’. According to him, Nigeria is very important to the global automotive business as virtually all brands in the industry compete to enter and capture the market.
He added that the opportunities and potentials of the Abuja International Motor Show is one the Federal Capital Territory Administration and the federal government could leverage on to promote ‘economic tourism.
Source: National Mirror Nigeria